September 20, 2002 - Genoa 49k/30m**

It’s been a fun day. I couldn’t get any transport to Cann River until 12:41P, so I had time to go back and ride part of the Bairnsdale-Orbost rail trail (it currently ends at Nowa Nowa – 30km of the 60km total distance remains to be completed – they need $A400,000. Good places to ride are #3 roads along RR tracks, #2 roads along canals, and #1 rail-trails. Yesterday the middle 60km were flat, much of it along irrigation canals. (see photo yesterday).

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When I rode this section 4 days ago, I took the Princes Highway through Lakes Entrance to Orbost. Today I got to ride the alternative. Anyone riding west to east along the coast would have a tough choice. The rail-trail is through rural areas, slow curves and hills. The Princes Highway goes through Lakes Entrance and has many hills. I prefer the trail.

I regrouped in Bairnsdale, and while waiting for the bus to Cann River, took a picture of the main street on a Saturday noon, and of the alter and stained glass at St. Mary’s church – recommended as the best ‘sight’ around.

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Then it was off to Cann River. We arrived at 3PM and I took off for my second ride of the day – this one of 49km of mostly forests and some farms, with some vistas.

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My concern along the way was getting to Genoa before dark, and whether or not they would have a room at the motel. When I got there, a little before 6PM, I found the town consisted of 3 buildings, a gas station, a general store, and a motel/hotel.

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Note that there are no cars or other signs of life anywhere on an early Saturday evening!! It seemed everything was closed! (60km+ to the next hotel) Wow. I went up to the hotel and entered a bar area through an unlocked door. A lady came up, told me they had rooms, with showers, for $A25 a night. I took one. No phones, internet, clock or washing facilities, but no choice either. $A25 is less than US$14. You get 2 single beds, a TV, a lamp, a heater (that doesn’t seem to work), a fridge, a toaster, a shower and a toilet.

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You also get an orange pitcher of rain water to drink (on the table). “Don’t drink from the tap or shower.” Quite a deal I’d say. But where to stock up on supplies for tomorrow? Breakfast isn’t until Eden, some 51km away. I want to make Narooma, 192km away. If I can average a bit more than 180km a day, I should get a day to tour Sydney. It depends on wind and hills.
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I just had nachos and rump steak with chips and beer for dinner. Jenny, the Canadian lady who’s been here for 30 years and seems to be in charge says that a) the general store is closed permanently, b) nearest groceries are 23km in a bad direction, c) the place is never busy, but it’s not hard work and it’s a living. My total tab for beers, room and dinner was $A51. I’m the only guest for dinner or a room. Here’s the last shot of the day, of the bar/restaurant at the once glamorous Genoa Hotel. That’s my beer between the ashtrays.

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(0921 8:33P Genoa)

– Television here only has maybe 4 channels. One’s like PBS.

– They’re in some sort of Australian Rules Football finals (12 teams from Melbourne, 2 from West Australia (Perth & Freemantle), 2 from South Australia (Adelaide and Port Adelaide) and 1 from Sydney). The game looks very intense, but the rules aren’t clear. Looks like more fun than US Football. Adelaide lost. 🙁

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